Category: Arts


BANGALORE:  For all those who are new to Bangalore a trip to a Handicrafts  emporium is always recommended by family and friends.Bangalore carries all the richness and goodness that the state of Karnataka has to offer. Year after year handicraft stores and cottage industries seemed to be gaining more popularity. Originality  and unique pieces to accent home seems to be the new trend.
” Yes, people come to Bangalore and do visit the handicrafts store without fail, ” ,said Mr G. Muniswamy general manager of the marketing department at Cauvery Emporium. ” people want to take a piece of Bangalore with them. Once Mahatma Gandhi road used to be most visited by tourist, students, one and all.”
Sandalwood, rosewood inlay work, Bronze sculptures, stone carvings etc are somethings that never get old and are always in demand. Cauvery Emporium was set up in 1964 and has seen the rich and famous walk in and out of their doors.
” We would provide raw materials like silver, zinc etc artisans at subsidized rates. Craftsmen from Iran and Persia when they came to India started practising art and craft. Soon the local people picked up crafts and cultural painting styles from them.” ,said G.Muniswamy ” Whether they work by order or have their own business, craftsmen did very well.  Channapatna famous for lacquer toys, Ramanagara for pottery, Bangalore for bronze artwork,Mysore for silk. There was a lot to offer and a variety to choose from.”
Handicrafts and cottage industry products always receive attention. Once the client is told that the product is handmade then they immediately show interest. Handicrafts are never ignored. But despite the rise in number of shops there has been a slide in sales.
” People just walk in have a look and leave.” ,says Akbar of Jamal Mir ” They do praise the work but not many buy. sales aren’t as good ad 2 years before. Only little items sell or something religious. Before wood carvings of elephants and elephants heads were in major demand but now they are all manufactured by the factory,. Everything is machine made. Craftsmanship is almost extinct now.”
Jamal Mir was the only handicrafts store on Cunningham road  and just celebrated it’s hundredth year. Now there are over 7 handicrafts store on Cunningham road.
” Most of the store are not government owned,” ,says G.Muniswamy ” Most they things they sell may not be authentic. They spray their products with sandalwood fragrance and claim it to be made of sandalwood.”
 The government ban on  cutting and selling of sandalwood or even growing sandalwood trees at home made the life of artisans very difficult.
” Before we would get tonnes of sandalwood but not it is extremely rarely. Continuous felling of sandalwood trees let to deforestation and massive shortage.Growing sandalwood at home was illegal. Now the government woke up to reality and started growing sandalwood but it is still highly demanded. ” ,said G.Muniswamy. ” Another reason why handicrafts popularity is dying because there aren’t any craftsmen left. Youngsters are not keen on doing carving and sculpture. So it is very hard to find master craftsmanship like before. Everything comes from the factories. People prefer to shop in malls these days causing serious decline in sales of handicrafts.”
Countries like Chine and the US have taken an interest in handicrafts. A lot of the big artwork, cultural paintings etc are exported in bulk fro  Bangalore. A Sandalwood sculpture  depicting Krishna’s reincarnation costing Rs 85 lakhs was recently exported to China.


BANGALORE:  If you walk into  64 Bistro Bar, Cafe Flamenco,Cafe Mauh or Hysteria the paintings on the walls are something one cannot miss .Creativity can begin from anywhere and at any age. For 22 year Vaishak it all began when he was around 5 years old.                                                                                           
” My mother used to learn art from a teacher who came home,” Says Vaishak who just graduated from Sri Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain College of Engineering, ” I was restless child and my mum gave me a pencil and a paper to keep me occupied. ” Watching his mother’s art teacher teach, Vaishak picked up the basic of  drawing. In his school years Vaishak learned from his friends and many other artist who came and went. ” Everyone has had an influence on me ,” said Vaishak, ” I had the opportunity to watch artist like M.F. Hussain work in front of me. I admire all types of art whether it is digital, airbrush or on automobiles”

In school Vaishak won several state level and inter school art competition but it was in 8th grade when he was work received extra attention. ” In an art competition I painted  a picture of a historic ruins with grass growing around it,” said Vaishak, ” Well you can say it symbolized abandonment. Little did I know that it would fetch me  a gold medal at National level. I won a Bal Ratna.”

The incident was an eye opener for Vaishak and his parents, who learned the most from his mother, grandmother and his art teacher.Vaishak had made several portraits of legends like Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe etc and also made portraits using glass paints.
He took his talent to the next level when he started painting on fabric. Vaishak customised almost anything. From jackets to jeans to shows, caps and even guitars.A lot of his clients have also allowed him to be abstract. ” Of course they do drop hints” ,says Vaishak

” I built and customized my own guitar. My friends saw it and that is when the demands started pouring in.” says Vaishak who applied everything that he learned in college in making his highly demanded guitars.” Soon I am going to start painting bikes. I wanted to do mechanical engineering to built bikes, choppers, motorcycles and customize them.” said the aspirant who is not very far from achieving his goals.

“It’s hard to tell no to people” says Vaishak who has a Facebook page showcasing all his work, ” It was difficult balancing college and work. The Facebook page attracts a lot of people and they don’t realise It is just one person doing everything.”

“A friend had introduced me to the owners of cafe Flamenco. They initially wanted graffiti work on the walls but later settled to showcase my paintings” said Vaishak.

Now Vaishak keeps getting calls to show case his work in galleries and cafes which he mostly prefers. ” Only if it helps me fetch a lot of money enough to support myself, then only will I set up my own shop, for now I rather be employed.” says Vaishak who is currently working on the french window at Cafe Muah.

BANGALORE:  Art as a medium cannot be restricted. To some it may be just an array of colour on a canvas but to some it is a vision or even a language. Muthukrishnan Ramalingam is one artist who painted his canvas with all that he imagined.
Despite his  hearing disability and failing eyesight, M. Ramalingam  is especially gifted. His paintings are known all over the world. ” Painting is my language”,  he says ” People know me because of  my paintings”. All his paintings have been influenced by India and most of them involve women. ” I want to show our Indian culture where ever I go. Even in my paintings of Spain I have female characters. There are so many types of women influenced by so many things. The way they dress, their skin color, eye colour , the way they wear their hair. Even religion influences their dressing sense. They portrayed our culture perfectly.They are like flowers. Colorful yet different.”
An exhibition of M.Ramalingam’s painting is organised by the Association of British Scholars and will be  held over the 14th and 15th June at the Karnataka  Chitrakala Parishath. The exhibition was inaugurated by Shri Shankar Linge Gowda , Chairman of The Karnataka Chitrakala Parishad.
M. Ramalingam won his first award for painting in tenth grade where he went to school with other disabled children. He went to a regular college with regular students. When he was 23 years old , he went to Britain for three months just for a tour but soon after he returned to India, he was asked to come back. He joined the Oxford Print Makers Fine Arts Studio to further learn painting.He exhibited his paintings in London, Spain and USA. He is also a Charles Wallace scholar. ” I have seen the work of Picasso and M.F.Hussain in London. Their work is extremely  bold ,powerful and beautiful.. I have met M.F. Hussain twice myself” , he said.

M.Ramalingam is a Charles Wallace Scholar.His inspiration, he  says is nature and everything that he sees everyday and mostly everything is based on his observation. He paints auto rickshaws in most of his paintings to symbolize Chennai and the Taj Hotel to symbolize Mumbai.

” Most of  his painting are two dimensional because  that is how he sees them”, said K.C.Janardhan, President of the Association of British Scholars
On being asked how it was growing up a disability, M.Ramalingam said ” At first i was very scared. I was the only one with a disability in my college and going to Britain with it seemed daunting. But later i realized that I was no different. Where ever I went people understood everything I said. My paintings spoke volumes on my behalf. I had absolutely no difficulties communicating”
The word disability barely existed in M.Ramalingam’s life. For him it was no hurdle. His story is inspirational not only to those with disabilities but also to those with with personal challenges.
student budgeting
BANGALORE: From earlier time Bangalore was always a high end city. Since the establishment of Hindustan aeronautic, telephone industries etc Bangalore was one of the first cities to develop an IT hub further attracting heavy industries to India. But with such great developments comes high cost of living. However this doesn’t seem to be an issue for nonresident students. But Bangalore does manage to attract a good bunch of students from all over India, from all sorts of economic settings.

The garden city is most favored for its pleasant climate, large number of restaurants and pubs and also home to several prestigious institutes. This city has it all. The multi cultured setting makes students life even more relaxed. There is always something to look forward too. Everything here comes with a premium price tag to it. But how many students think it is just a small price to pay and for how many is it a steal?

Nerita Lewis, Mount Carmel College:  Coming from Kuwait I feel that Bangalore is pretty affordable in terms of shopping and food. I have no complains about that as such. I have been in Bangalore for 2 years now. Kuwait can get very expensive. Everything there is equally good but bits too expensive .I manage to spend around Rs 8000 to 10,000 including paying guest expenses which is Rs 4500 a month. So basically I don’t have to worry about water bills, electricity bills, utility bills etc. on weekends an average of Rs 1000 is normal. A good restaurant will cost you Rs 500 and above. Initially everything seemed overwhelmingly expensive I used to spent around Rs 15,000 a month but I soon found my way around and I am able to budget better.


Ajay Kumar, Christ University:  I was brought up in Chennai and came to Bangalore for higher education. I was told that both the cities are very similar. They are in most ways. I’ve been n Bangalore for 3 and a half years and I think I’ve been able to manage my expenses better over the years. I manage to spend between 13,000- 14,000 Rs a month. I suggest students to stay in paying guest services or hostels because staying in an apartment can be a lot of work, even though paying rents too have gone up. It depends on the areas they live into. In my 1st year I had a one bedroom apartment for which I have to pay electricity bills, water bills, utility bills etc. the bills would mainly range between 200 to 500 Rs but as a student you tend to forget that you have to take care of all this yourself. The autos tend to take up a large chunk of my allowance. The bus services are convenient but after a certain time they are not available. Also the last mile has to be travelled by foot or auto and that takes a lot of time. In Chennai there are buses till 3 or 4 in the morning with a small concession for students for bus passes.


Divya Thomas, Mount Carmel College: I am new to Bangalore and have already started to feel the pinch. I was aware of high cost of living even for students but now I’m actually getting to experience it. I feel the autos take up a major chunk of my allowance. None of the autos are below 100 Rs and very few of them use the meter or minimal fare. The bus takes a lot of time and we cannot afford to be late to classes so we end up taking an auto. The hostel I’m staying in charges 20, 000 deposit and Rs 3000 as monthly rent. It’s not advisable to spend over RS 10,000 a month that would be too much. Ina Mangalore I student would need around 5000 to 6000 Rs for monthly expenditure. An apartment or a paying guest accommodation located near college will definitely cost more. So many students usually stay ahead of the college areas.


Kajal Sabherwal, Christ University: I don’t see many youngsters in Hyderabad actually. There aren’t many. So I decided to come to Bangalore. When we are at home we don’t realize expenses like house rent and bills so when we leave home and find a place of our own everything seems overwhelming.  Compared to other cities, if a student Is spending Rs 10,000 a month then it is not bad. Then again we youngsters are spoilt too. We want everything to be the best or branded and not many compromise so we cannot complain that Bangalore is expensive. For my 1sy year I stayed in an apartment with 3 other students. The rent was Rs 11,000 which was split amongst us. We used to cook for ourselves but that wasn’t possible all the time. So we started eating out frequently. Now that I moved to a paying guest accommodation everything is so much better and relaxed. Now I don’t feel like eating out. I miss home food o I eat at the mess. Weekends it is certain that we spend a minimal of 500 R. We often go for movies and then grab a meal later so my main expenses go on just catching up on movies. Easily manage to spend Rs 15,000 monthly. However I do feel Bangalore should have student concessions like Chennai.


Renin Mathew, Christ University:  I don’t shop much or have any unnecessary expenses. It is only auto fares and food. But budgeting hasn’t been hard for me. Luckily, my paying guest accommodation is just opposite my brother’s house. In my first year I spent around RS 10,000 and my paying guest accommodation took up Rs 3500. Now 2 years later I’m given Rs 5000 and the rest of the expenses my brother helps me with. For other expenses like shopping I prefer Muscat because it is less expensive compared to the branded ones in mall and we usually pay just for the name. Majority of the things we buy from Muscat are foreign made, where they originally come from.


Shopping in Chennai


For all those who think that only Bombay, Delhi and Bangalore are the ultimate shopping destinations in India, a trip to Chennai is definitely due. Flip open any lifestyle magazines and the hottest stores and eateries are opening in Chennai.

Be it greek cuisine, sushi or good old kababs, From designer stores to street markets, Chennai has it all.  Well spaced and brightly lit malls with extravagant cinema halls seems to have been a rampant  trend in Chennai. The same buyer probably head to T.nagar, Pondy bazaar and saukarpet in order to find unmatched steals.

Who would blame them? I myself took a trip to express avenue and city centre several times before heading to mint street and boy , do they have it all!  North Indian or south India, they everything that fits the diverse cultures and traditions. Mint street was packed with buys even on weekdays. Walking is not the option, being pushed for the next step is.

Mrs Singh,a homemaker and avid shopper says that she rather shop in street markets than in malls,’ I like malls but street markets are so interesting. There is something about rummaging through stores and looking for bargains that adds to the experience.  I would go to the mall to buy something specific and nothing more’

How true. Vimlesh, rakhi and accessory store owner says that street shopping will never die. ‘ everyone wants to go and find better deals than pay 3 times the price in a mall. Whether they shop in malls or in bazaar, street markets attracts all sorts of clients’ Vimlesh has quite an array of glistening rakhi from all over India. His store is swarmed by women during any special occasion.

Also not to forget, there is a stress busting factor attached to street shopping. A mall store will treat you well but not your wallet.

Krishna , a content writer spoke to us saying that she prefers mall over street marts, ‘ I get all the brands under one roof’, says Krishna ‘ though the good sold in malls may be expensive, they do assure a quality’ that however may be true. But its often a misconception that expensive things are good in quality. One can get equality ripped off.

Also now that malls are all over India, it seems to be a pass time or a Sunday ritual to hang out in a mall or to dine in food courts more than actually shop for branded goods.

“It was as if when I lo…

“It was as if when I looked into his eyes I was standing alone on the edge of the world…on a windswept ocean beach. There was nothing but the soft roar of the waves.”
― Anne Rice, Interview With the Vampire

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